Journals Higher Education



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Published: 06 March 2014

368 Pages


ISBN: 9780199940066

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The Civic Constitution

Civic Visions and Struggles in the Path toward Constitutional Democracy

Elizabeth Beaumont

  • Challenges reigning legal and theoretical approaches to questions of the sources of constitutionalism and the nature of democratic citizenship through an innovative interdisciplinary approach that synthesizes in-depth historical accounts with important theoretical arguments
  • Develops a powerful theory of constitutional regime-making and regime-change centered on a type of popular dialectic, an intense public debate carried out by engaged citizens in sermons, speeches, newspapers, petitions, and more
  • A notable contribution to democratic theory that expands the role of citizens to include participation in constitutional founding and refounding
  • Offers a controversial thesis that challenges and reinvents prevailing understandings of American constitutional founding, rejecting 'whiggish' civic myths about the natural or rational unfolding of the promises of the Declaration of Independence